Thursday, March 21, 2013

WHAT IS THE ULTIMATE AUTHORITY IN YOUR LIFE?

As a Christian I have complete confidence that the Bible is the Word of God. I believe it is a book of Supernatural origin and more than adequate to help me live a life of faith which would please God: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). I also have complete confidence that when it comes to matters pertaining to the natural world, they will always harmonize with God’s Word, even though my human understanding of things is very limited and incomplete.  Another way of saying it would be that I have learned to give the benefit of the doubt to God’s Word over the opinions and ideas of men when the two disagree with each other. This may sound like a “simplistic faith” but it is not without a firm foundation. In the field of Christian apologetics there is a large body of credible evidence to substantiate the reliability of the 66 books of Holy Scripture.  That however is not the purpose of this writing.  My purpose is to get people to think about the matter of an ultimate authority in their life.  Every man has some basis for the spiritual, moral, intellectual, or philosophical things they hold to be true. Even the most profound atheists who vehemently deny the existence of God believe in things that have originated from the mind of others.  Solomon the wise was absolutely right when he said, “there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).  There are no “original thinkers”.  So it all comes down to what ultimately captures our minds and hearts and the allegiance we give to those thoughts and ideas.  These are things we live with and will ultimately die with. 

Men will continue to question, ridicule, and deny the Bible, but they do so for the most part with a very limited or prejudiced study of it’s’ message. They often rely on the information they have gathered from other skeptics rather than a diligent personal investigation.  So, what is the ultimate authority in your life?  Are you too busy to even give this question any consideration? Are you so involved in the “here and now” that you don’t take time to think about what happens when your life ends?  I read about a man who calculated the approximate number of weeks he hoped to live based on the average life expectancy.  He then filled a large jar with marbles, each one representing one week of the remainder of his days.  After a week would pass he would remove one marble from the jar.  Little by little the pile of marbles in the jar grew smaller and smaller.  I’m not suggesting you follow his example but the Bible does tell us that our time on earth is limited and we should act accordingly.  In Psalm 90 and verse 3 we read: So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom”. Given the brevity of life doesn’t it make sense to prepare for what comes afterwards?   I believe that is a very wise thing to do. However, you can’t do that until you decide who and what you will put your faith in.  For me, the answer was God, and His revealed Word, the Holy Bible. This has been the ultimate authority in my life for nearly 40 years and will be till I die.  I have looked elsewhere and nothing can compare with what I read in the pages of Holy Scripture.  It has not only satisfied my intellect, it has given rest to my sin weary soul by pointing me to Jesus Christ: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matthew 11:28,29).
The older I get the more I realize just how quickly the days of my life pass by, and the more grateful I am that my eternal life is certain and secure. This certainty and security is not of my own doing, nor based on any good that I have done. It is based on what Jesus did when He died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sin.  Having confessed my need of His forgiveness I now have God’s guarantee of eternal life:  “… if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:9, 10).
If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior I pray that you might consider the possibility that the ultimate authority in your life is misplaced and bow the knee to Him because one day you will: “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (1 John 5:8-11).

Pastor Tom

No comments: